SaskCanola Supports New Research Projects Through ADF Funding

SaskCanola Supports New Research Projects Through ADF Funding

At SaskCanola, research continues to be one a strategic priority. About 40% of SaskCanola’s annual budget is allocated to research for fostering innovation, decreasing production risk, and increasing sustainability and producer prosperity. Since the establishment of SaskCanola in1991, Saskatchewan canola producers have funded over 426 research projects related to canola agronomy, trait development, alternative uses, and many other areas intended to benefit canola profitability for Saskatchewan producers.

After reviewing research proposals with farmers’ best interests in mind, SaskCanola committed to co-fund eight projects through the 2020-21 Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund competition to invest in research to address the top priority issues for canola growers. These include soil fertility management, disease management, germplasm development, digital agronomy, and insect management. The total maximum SaskCanola investment for these eight projects is $841,280. With these new commitments, SaskCanola continues the pursuit of providing value back to producers who can implement these research results into their farm operations and drive the future of the agriculture industry. 

Newly funded ADF research projects in 2020/21 year include:

Impact of Phosphorus Fertilizer Forms on Nutrition of Wheat, Pea and Canola, Soil Fate and Losses in Run-Off Water 
Principal investigator: Dr. Jeff Schoenau, University of Saskatchewan
Objective
•    Assess how phosphorus fertilizer forms, placement, and rate affect crop responses, fate in the soil, and run-off losses in SK soils
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $50,232 
Co-funded by: Western Grains Research Foundation, SaskWheat, SaskPulse

Identification and exploitation of genome structural variants for trait improvement in Prairie crops
Principal investigator: Dr. Andrew Sharpe, Global Institute for Food Security
Objectives
•    Development of canola (Brassica napus) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) pan-genome structural variant (PanSV) atlases
•    Development of high-throughput structural variant (SV) genotyping pipeline
•    High-throughput genotyping of SVs on canola and wheat populations
•    Association of SVs with important agronomic traits
•    Functional annotation of SV markers on the impact on phenotypes in wheat and canola
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $172,500 
Co-funded by: Western Grain Research Foundation, SaskWheat, Alberta Wheat and Barley

Developing single-spore isolates of pathotypes of Plasmodiophora brassicae
Principal investigator: Dr. Bruce Gossen, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Objectives:
•    Develop techniques for whole-genome sequencing of single spores of Plasmodiophora brassicae
•    Single-spore isolates of P. brassicae
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $60,000 
Co-funded by: Saskatchewan ADF

Shining Light on Digital Agriculture: Linking Soil NIR measurements, Fertility and Crop Yields
Principal investigator: Dr. Derek Peak, University of Saskatchewan
Objectives
•    Use spectral sensing to produce spatially-resolved soil based yield potential maps; and
•    Develop methodology to link field near infrared (NIR) data and laboratory analyses
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $103,536 
Co-funded by: Saskatchewan ADF and SaskWheat

Enhancing the Saskatchewan Soil Health Assessment Protocol – Phase 2
Principal investigator: Dr. Kate Congreves, University of Saskatchewan
Objectives
•    Build on the SK Soil Health Testing Protocol so that it outputs soil zone-specific scores
•    Incorporate novel microbial measurements of soil health into the testing protocol
•    Explore early-indicators of soil health change for when producers incorporate regenerative agricultural practices on farm
•    Deliver a user-friendly online tool that shows growers the soil health curves and where their sample falls
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $143,557 
Co-funded by: SaskWheat

Collecting the carbon data needed for Climate-Smart agriculture in Saskatchewan
Principal investigator: Dr. Kate Congreves, University of Saskatchewan
Objectives
•    Provide direct, year-round field-scale measurements of greenhouse gas emissions from a representative cropping system in Saskatchewan
•    Provide field-scale assessments that encompass 4R+ practices aimed at minimizing carbon footprints
•    Test the hypothesis that Saskatchewan cropping systems are a net carbon sink by determining net ecosystem exchange and carbon footprint
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $111,012 
Co-funded by: Saskatchewan ADF, SaskWheat, SaskOats

Application of hyperspectral imaging for detection and mapping of small patch clubroot infestations in commercial canola fields
Principal investigator: Mr. David Halstead, Saskatchewan Polytechnic
Objectives:
•    Identify readily applied diagnostic features for mapping small clubroot patches and develop a diagnostic tool
•    Refine and validate diagnostic tool for identifying small patch clubroot infestations
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $48,286 
Co-funded by: Saskatchewan ADF

Continuing to watch the winds: the origin and arrival of migrant aster leafhoppers and diamondback moths
Principal investigator: Dr. Tyler Wist, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
Objectives:
•    Assess the genetic variations of migrant and new generation of diamondback moth and aster leafhopper to pinpoint their southern origins
•    Evaluate aster leafhopper movement from alfalfa to canola to determine if alfalfa is a “green bridge” reservoir that maintains the aster yellows phytoplasma in Saskatchewan
•    Develop aster yellows risk index and transmission risk in SK
•    Use of wind trajectories, and stable isotopes to continue gathering data on diamondback moth and aster leafhopper migration flights and origin
SaskCanola maximum funding level: $152,158 
Co-funded by: Western Grains Research Foundation

For more information on SaskCanola research projects, contact:
Doug Heath, Research Manager, (306) 975-0730 / dheath@saskcanola.com, or
Miki Miheguli, Research Extension Specialist, (306) 975-0273 / mmiheguli@saskcanola.com.  

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